Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sarasota County Updates

Welcome to Sarasota County's community e-newsletter. If you have questions, ideas for articles, or feedback relating to this newsletter, contact us at
The Sarasota County Commission selected Paul Caragiulo, District 2, as chair and Nancy C. Detert, District 3, as vice chair for 2017 during its annual retreat. Michael A. Moran will serve as Pro Tem.
Sarasota County's Comprehensive Plan has received the 2016 Outstanding Planning Project Award from the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.
The Sarasota County Commission approved a resolution on Tuesday, Dec. 13, designating 71 Sarasota County parks and preserves in north and south county as "dog friendly." These are sites where dogs are welcome, but must be leashed at all times.
During the holiday season consider giving gifts that will help protect family members and friends during an emergency. 
Residents can keep their homes safe for the holidays by following these safety tips before, during and after the celebrations.
Drug Free Sarasota and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office have partnered with the Sarasota County Department of Health to distribute special pouches for homebound residents to safely dispose of unused or expired prescription medications.
The deadline for enrollment in the Health Insurance Exchange for coverage in 2017 is Jan. 31, 2017. Enrollment is easy and most people qualify for monthly savings. 
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Sarasota, Florida 34236 
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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Late Waldo Proffitt Jr. on Growth

Longtime editorial writer and managing editor of the Herald Tribune Waldo Proffitt Jr. died Dec. 6. This reflection was shared with us by Dan Lobeck:

Waldo Proffitt Jr.

October 8, 1924 - December 6, 2016

As Managing Editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune from 1961-1998, and as a columnist and editorial writer,
Waldo Proffitt  helped shape Sarasota County for the better (together for most of that time with Publisher David Lindsay).  

He always favored carefully managed and controlled growth, as reflected in these interview excerpts.
Waldo Proffitt is greatly missed.

From an Interview – 10/16/2013:
 … growth is not necessarily good, it’s only the right kind of growth that will help the community remain a good place for people to live and that is the product that Sarasota has to sell: that this is a good place to live. And I believe that that idea has become fairly widely circulated, I certainly hope so.


Well, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by density. I mean that’s not easy to do, because the more people you can pack into a given area, the more money you can make.


I’m very fond of Siesta Key but the fact is that now it is getting overpopulated and unless we are very careful about what we allow to be built in there, it can have an negative impact on the quality of life, and that is, I think, a statement that I think could be applied to almost any waterfront community— they are very sensitive to density.

From an Interview – 8/27/2003:


I always tried to sell the concept that growth is good up to a point … I can tell you what the maximum population [of Sarasota County] will be. I figured it out to be 1.6 billion. The population of Sarasota County would give you twelve square feet for every person to lie down in the sun, and you couldn’t have any double decking because everybody wants to get the sunshine. … then you can start asking the question, how much growth should we have? Then you start asking a whole different set of questions, and then you’ve come to the concept of sustainability. How much growth can we sustain over the long haul based on the resources available? The truth is we don’t know, and people have thought about this and they still don’t know. We will never get a satisfactory answer to that question, but as long as you keep asking the question, you get people in a mind-set where they are not afraid to say, no, you can’t do that because that is something we can’t sustain over the long haul. We can’t follow this precedent.

Question: In very specific cases, if we look at Southwest Florida, already there are issues of water, pollution, and traffic. Once that starts impacting the life of an average citizen of this community, they are going to start complaining.

WP: Yes, and [they] have.

Question: But the power of the developers is that they will say, look, we want to expand, that’s jobs, more people come, more businesses, it helps the economy, more taxes, better schools, that growth is not only essential but beneficial. How do you counteract those kinds of statements?

WP: In the first place, you go back and examine the tax history in the county, which I don’t think anybody has done recently but I did several times and printed the results. The truth of the matter is that as the community grows, the per capita tax rises. Growth doesn’t lower your taxes; it actually raises them. I think in most any situation, you can check the tax records and that is what happens. 

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Update on FDOT plan for Bee Ridge Exchange

We asked a representative from FDOT to update us on plans for the Bee Ridge interchange. Here's the latest as of today:

The Florida Department of Transportation anticipates conducting informational meetings in late-January/early-February 2017 where display boards will be set up in an open-house format in which attendees will have the opportunity to view the project and ask questions of FDOT staff and its project engineering consultant team.

A video presentation will also be provided that will review the history of the project, a detailed description of the current design and hopefully address many of the questions you and others may have about the project. Check for updates at the project website.

Two questions:
1. Does the plan for the continuous flow intersection at Cattlemen call for two legs or four?   
The slide attached, of the Bee Ridge Road/Cattlemen Road intersection, was taken from the presentation given during the July 26, 2016 public hearing. As shown, the Continuous Flow Intersection configuration will displace the left turns in both the eastbound and westbound direction of Bee Ridge Road only. The northbound/southbound left turn movements along Cattlemen Road at Bee Ridge Road will function as a conventional left turn movement (non-displaced).

2. Is the current plan for the southbound off-ramp leading to Cattlemen still the new plan to come in not immediately opposite Wilkinson, but a bit north of it?  
The plan for the terminus point of the southbound off-ramp onto Cattlemen Road is the same as that presented at the July 26th public hearing (see attached slide), which is approximately 430-feet north of Wilkinson Road.

At present there are no updates or changes to the timeline or funding of the project beyond what was presented at the July 26th public hearing. Right-of-way is partially funded in the Department’s Five-Year Work Program and construction remains unfunded.